Blog entries filtered by: Farming, Policy, Risk
Jason Beddow of HarvestChoice and the University of Minnesota, along with Darren Kriticos of CSIRO, explain how HarvestChoice is revolutionizing the science of tracking -- and predicting -- the paths of devastating crop pests and diseases such as UG99.
Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and HarvestChoice are now working together to apply innovative, “bio-economic” approaches to improve the food security of poor people in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Together, our organizations will merge biological, environmental and economic tools to track global food pests and better target strategic investments to improve global food security.
The definition of risk used by the HarvestChoice project does not frame risk as inherently bad. After all, farmers and other individuals often voluntarily subject themselves to risks that can be avoided. That is, some individuals may view risk as undesirable, others may not care, while still others may view it as desirable. Individuals who find risk undesirable are commonly referred to as risk averse. Individuals who do not care are commonly referred to as risk neutral. Individuals who find risk desirable are often referred to as risk preferring, loving, or attracted.
We're not normally focused on this part of the world, but something like the Japanese tsunami tends to divert your attention.
Having access to the long-term historical daily weather data has been a roadblock for agricultural researchers who deal with production risk in data-sparse regions.
As an option, by loosely combining two existing global climate databases, HarvestChoice is synthesizing a 100-year daily weather dataset for Sub-Sahara Africa on 50-km grids. This post describes the methodology and provides access to the database, called SLATE (Synthesized Long-term Weather), formatted for input to the crop systems models.
Not only crop growth and yield, crop models can be also used to estimate potential damages from pest/disease through a predefined set of damage pathways, or coupling points.
Farming entails a great deal of choices and uncertainties. From season to season, weather varies, price fluctuates, soil degrades, pest damages, and climate changes. Farmers everywhere must cope with these uncertainties. Throughout the history of agriculture, many options have been developed to help manage these risks, increase yields, increase efficiency, and, more recently, promote the sustainability of the overall system.